Delivering bad news is a necessary part of managers’ job descriptions, especially Finance managers.
Skillful managers know how to do this unwanted task in way that makes employees appreciative of the messenger as well as the company they work for.
Here’s how they do it:
1. Keep it human
Bad news should always be delivered in person – even if it has to be done in front of a large group.
Using electronic channels – email, company intranet, etc. – sends the message that the company doesn’t really care what employees think.
2. Give them time
When the news is going to directly impact employees (i.e., premium increases) let them know as early as possible.
Not only will this give workers time to react and vent, it will also allow them to prepare.
3. Let them know ‘why’
Managers sometimes make the mistake of simply passing along the bad news without giving workers any indication of why the decision was made in the first place. Whenever possible, be as open as possible about reasons for the news.
Also, when discussing an unpopular move, it’s important for managers to avoid shifting the blame away from the company.
Delivering bad news shouldn’t be an isolated event. Managers need to update employees to let them know how things are going and what’s likely come next.
This keeps workers from being shocked by additional bad news.